Book of Questaris
In the begining there was nothing…...
Then a single emotion came into being, hatred. With it came a scream that shattered the nothing and formed vasteness of the universe. As the hatred grew other thoughts came into being and the Void realised itself. It was filled with the hatred that created it but felt something it could not discribe. In the darkness that was the universe it searched for the answer but could find only it’s self, and it knew then what it was that it felt. Anger. With its will it stretched out to find others but there was no one, and nothing, to find. Then a thought came to it, if there is nothing to find then it must create something.
And so it was that the Void created the First World and ravaged it, for it hated it’s creation. The world howled with pain, but this did not slate the need that the Void felt. So it created the moons and battered them with its rage, while they wailed and cried out, and still the Void was not satisfied. It created the mountians and the seas, it tore and broke them, and though they screamed out it was still not enough for the wanting of the Void. It created the trees and the sky and set them ablaze, they did shreik with their pain, but the Void felt no fulfillment in this. And so it was that the void determined what was still missing, things that could die.
And so the Void created the animals of the field, and the fish in the sea. It tortured them and bled them, and found a small joy in it. Though they feared the Void, and felt the pain it inflected on them, they did not understand it. This greatly angered the Void, for what good was it to torture those that could not fathom the wholeness of the Void. In its rage it cracked the world, and all that lived there died in fire and smoke. The world boiled in it’s own blood for a time, and the Void watched and seethed in its anger.
Then a truely terrible thought cam to the Void, it would start again but this time it would create self-aware beings to torture and maim. And so it was that the Void mended the broken world, raised the mountians high agian, filled the sea, nurtured the the flora and fauna, and calmed the winds. Then the Void created the first of the races of the old time. It granted them the gift of music and song. It filled their hearts with a love for all that grew and all that breathed. It gave them thought and reasoning to make them aware of all that surrounded them, and this lead them to realise joy in the world. In the darkness of the Void they grew and prospered, and knew only happiness in the world and celebrated its bounty. The Void smiled at its work, and hated it’s creation. He named the first race Lith’talisar’ihim, which in the old tongue of the world means Elves.
Like a storm of fire the Void decended upon the whole of the world. It cracked the cities of the elves with wave and quake. It burned the fields of their lands, and set plague to their herds. With the winds it whiped their bodies and set to break their spirits. And so it was for one hundred score years that the wails of the land, animals, and Elves cried out for mercy, and the Void felt the greatest pleasure it had ever known. But this was not enough for its to fill it’s longing. It set about making the other old races to add to the cacophony of the worlds pain. It next created the Trus’tilim’somil, which means Dwarves in the old tongue. Then the Rosu’balin’thamu, which means Gnomes, and the Yunli’falthu’talis, which means Halfling. The Void was filled with the pleasure of the pain the races of the world felt, and it desired more and more of this. Thus ended the creation of the Second World and began the time of pian.
For three hundred score years it continued to create races to put to fire and death, until the world was filled with the old races of the world as we know it now them. Many of who now live only in tales told by the wise and ancient. But the more he created in the world the more he could not be at all places at one time. As he would create a new race he would focus his energies on them and thus relieve the others. This vexxed the Void and it knew that it must have all the pain in the world. So it was that the first of the Void Lords came into being, Volmar. Who is known now as the god of Pain and Suffering. And to him the Void gave domain over a sixth of the world. It next created Halima, the goddess of Perversion and Lust. Then came Melpha, the goddess of Murder & Death. And she was followed by Hephet, the god of Corruption and Lies. Then came Jenda, the goddess of Jealousy and Envy, and Gelina, the goddess of Hate and Anger. And to each he gave dominion over one sixth of the world, and through them all the pain and suffering of the world was channeled to slate the Void, and he was pleased. all the while the world suffered with no hope of salvation.
Then a light, the like of tens of thousands of suns, broke the darkness and the Void wailed and recoiled to the shadows of the world. Questaris, the savior, the light, had come. Long had he wandered the multiverse in search of his destiny, He had heard the wailing of the races put under torture in Second World of the Void. His heart grevied for those that suffered and dwelled in darkness. From the light that was him he took a piece and cast it into the darkness and thus our sun, Rish’ulin which means Gods Hand in the old tongue, was formed. With grace he shook his cloak and the stars flew from it. Like dew shaken in the mourning light they glittered and spread filling the the universe with their light. The races of the world who having lived in darkness since the begining looked up and covered their eyes in wonder.
Questaris’ cast a troubled eye and looked upon the face of the world. He saw the joy and hope growing and breathing new life into those that he had come to save. But in the deep of the world he saw that the Void and its children had not been lazy. They had amassed an army of minions, numbering like the grains of sand in the deserts of the world, to aid in their torture of the world and the old races. He could see them forming up and preparing for battle. And thus Questaris reached out to the world and took a piece of every living thing, and formed it into his champion, Amon who was known as the Guardian of Light. Amon sang to the stars, and the heavens filled with song as they answered him with songs of their own and decended as a celestial host to aid him.
A howl like the winds of a typhoon arose from the world, and the Void swept from the deep places of the world. His shadow began to fill all that the stars did not inhabit, and thus began the first war for the heavens. Many of the living creatures joined in the fray on either side, but those that joined Questaris were of a greater accounting. Every cornor of the universe rang with the sound of battle, and was filled with the lamentation of those that survived for those that they had lost. The world shook as Questaris and the Void battled, neither giving quarter to the other. 50 score years passed as the battle for the world raged, many generations lived and died never knowing peace, and this greeved Questaris greatly. As the years drained away the armies of both sides dwindled a faded. The weight of so many dead, and suffering of those that died and those that still yet lived, wore at Questaris and his own hope and will began to fade.
It was then that the Void struck with all it’s might, and crippled Questaris with a massive stroke. All looked hopeless for the world as the Void Lords reveled in their impending victory, even the mighty arm of the light, Amon, pleaded with Questaris to flee. It is said by the oldest and wisest of the old races that this was when the second greatest sacrifce of the world was made. One third of the living of the world gave of their strength and their life force to heal the wounds of Questaris. For they knew in their hearts that it was better for them to die so that their families could live and prosper, then have them suffer an eternity in darkness and pain. Questaris begged them not to do this, but his cry fell upon deaf ears as those that had made the choice perished.
The wounds of Questaris healed as a surge of new strength filled him, and his will was restored. He cried out to the stars and they answered him by forming a blade of the purist light from their own flesh and twinkled out for ever. With this blade Questaris smote down the void with rightous might, and divine wrath. Though the Void did not die with the wound it recieved it was afraid an shrank back from Questaris. But the Voids hatred at the betrayal of its creation overwhelmed it’s reason, and the Void struck the world with one last blow. The world shattered and screamed as it died, all those that lived there perished in one breathe.
Horror filled the eyes of Questaris as those he had come to save died. Never had Questaris felt anger before, but it was then that he felt it for the first and last time. He struck the Void over and over agian, with all of his anger and rage, but could not kill him. Knowing it could not win the Void fell into retreat. The Voids blood filled the universe as he fled the might of Questaris, and stains it to this day with it’s inky blackness. In great fear The Void abandoned his children and retreated from the universe. Though the Void screamed that it would have it’s vengence, it has never returned to fulfill its vow. Questaris had won but at a dear price.
The light of his blade faded and Questaris wept. He had failed those that he sought to save. Battle raged around him as the Void lords fought to save themselves, and The Celestial host fought to banish them, but Questaris took no notice of this. The broken pieces of the world, and the moons which thefragments of the world had struck, floated about Questaris. He greivingly took one of the pieces of the shattered world into his hand. Too many had given their lives in the war for their freedom. Too many had given their very essence’s to heal him when all was lost. It was then, as it is told by the ancient and wise, that the greatest sacrifce for the world was made, Questaris would not let those that gave up their lives fail.
And so it was that Questaris began to merge with the broken world. And as he did so pieces of him broke, and formed his children so that the world would be defended from the darkness. But as the world reformed it was cold and lifeless, so Questaris took his own heart and placed it into world and it was filled with his warmth. His blood covered the lands and they began to grow agian with life. His tears filled the deeps of the oceans, the rivers, and the lakes. And those that had died awoke knowing that they had been reborn through this last act of the light. And thus we now know our world as Questaris, never to forget what was done for, and given to, us. And thus ended the Third Creation of the world. (Back to top)
The Book of Disfavor
And so it was that the children of Questaris looked upon the world with caring eyes, and set out to help rebuild what was lost. The daughters of Questaris, Umiral, Naimolia, and Uthila, wept for the lose of their father and could not bare to be without him. So they to joined him in the heavens and reformed the moons, so that they could dance with their father forever there, and bring light to the world in the darkest hours. But his other children felt that they should do as he had told them and began the reconstruction of the world. Each of them took a part of the world and its people to govern and guide.
There was Paladina, the goddess of Truth and Justice. Hestis, the god of Strength and Courage. Permis, the god of the Waters and the Rain. Grenin, the god of the Field and Wood. Bellia, the goddess of Beauty, Love, and Faithfulness. Lothina, the goddess of the Air and Sky. Together they began guiding the peoples of Questaris in all things, and for many years things grew and prospered. For a time all the races lived and worked together in rebuilding the world into a place of freedom and purity. Each of the races took to themselves a part of the world as their own, and shared the bounty that they found there with thier neighbors. In these days even the Orcs and the Goblinoid races were counted amungst the good of the world, and they could be found living and working with the Elves and Dawrves. For had not Questaris fought to save them from the Void as well.
But this was not to last. The Elves and Dwarves began to disagree more and more or trivial things. While the Elves loved the trees and sky of the outdoors, the Dwarves love the stone and caverns of the world. And as their debates grew ever more heated they withdrew more and more to their own lands. Dispite the words of wisdom spoken to each by the gods of light, the two races seemed determined to go their own way. Each of the two races took with them members of other races to help in their own plans for the rebuilding of the world. The Gnomes traveled with the Dwarves, but never forgot their friendships with the Elves. The Halflings grew crops along with the Elves but never forgot that the dwarves had been their allies in the troubling times before.
As the Dwarven and Elven nations grew more and more powerful they began making the lesser races of Orcs, Goblins, and the like, into forced labor. The gods of Light did not condone this practice, but they could not sway the Dwarves and Elves from practicing this. And for 3 thousand years this went on without pause. The two greater races of the world looked upon these races as being inferior, though they saw the Gnomes and Halflings and kindred to themselves.
The children of Questaris scolded and berated the two races for this practice but to no avail. They begged and pleaded that they remember that these races had fought along side them for the freedom of the world, but the Dwarves and Elves were loath to give up their slaves. So the the gods of Light debated among themselves and finially were left with no other choice. Though it saddened them to do so, the gods of Light decided that they had to force the Elves and Dwarves into giving up their slaves. So to this end a curse was place on them that their numbers would dwindle every generation until the practice stoped, and they made reperations to those they had wronged. But the Dwarves and Elves still would not give up their practice of enslaving the lesser races. So it was that after one thousand years the gods of Light abandoned them. They had decided to begin anew with a race that would restore peace and order to the world their father had made.
Permis split the sea so that the earth below it could breathe the air of the world, and that the others could work their parts upon it. Paladina and Hestis pulled the land up from the foundations of the world and rasied the mountians of the new land. Lothlina cooled the mountians with her breathe. And once this was done, Grenin Planted the trees and flowers of the new land, and tended the soil so that all that was planted there would grow and flourish. Bellia searched for the most beautiful of creatures to place in the new land, and sculpted the earth, so that the new race would live amongst the best that the world could offer. They toiled for many years to make the new land ready for their chosen children. And this new land they named Zandora’simali, which is home of the world in the old tongue.
When all was ready for their new children, the goddess Paladina apeared to all the kings of the Dwarves and Elves. In fire and wind she spoke to them saying “The land to the south is forbiden to you and your children. Should you venture there before it is time we shall sink the world you know beneath the waves. Those that dwell there are our chosen children, who shall one day venture forth to your lands. Until that day this law will stand, heed it or suffer our finial wrath. We have loved you and guided you as you would a child, but you have grown to adult hood and no long grasp at our apron. And as such you now stand alone to bare your own sins.” And with that the gods of Light withdrew from the know races of the world.
The children of Questaris gathered in the land of their toil, and drew one of each of the elements of the world. Paladina brought fire, Grenin brought earth, Permis brought water, and Lothina brought air, while Bellia brought light. Though all these things were important it was Hestis that brought the finial and most important ingredient. From deep in the earth he pulled the Heart of Questaris which gives life to all things. When all was ready they brought all these things together and created the race that would decided the future of the world.
Earth to give it form, fire to give it warmth, light to give it thought, water to give it blood, air to give it breathe. When this was finished Hestis took a piece of their fathers heart and gave it life. When it was finished they stood back and marveled at what they had created, and they gave this new race a name. Human. But to the first human they gave a lone name so that she would be remembered, Tilith’muli’ina, which is Hope of the World in the old tongue. And too her they gave the land and animals to govern as she saw fit. So that she would not be lonely they each took a piece of her and made children for her to teach and guide. The gods retreated from the world and watched their new children grow and prosper.
Amon seethed at the betrayal he felt that the Children of Questaris had commited agianst the Elves. He railed agianst them in the halls of the gods condeming what they had done to those he felt were the most deserving of the gods favor. Each of the gods of Light tried to calm him and show him that what they had done was for the good of all that lived, but Amon would not be swayed. But he knew that they would not change their minds about the course of this new world they had set in motion. So he feigned calm, and proclaimed to have seen the wisdom of their plan. But in the quiet places of the world he plotted the downfall of the human race. And so it was that mankind grew and flourished under an uncertian future. (Back to top)
The Book of War
While the Children of Questaris set about nurturing the human race, the Elves and Dwarves began to truely feel the curse placed upon them. As the years drew on they began to fill less and less of the lands and homes of their once proud kindoms. But they would not release their slaves from bondage. It was in this time that the Void Lords set about their own work and began to corrupt the hearts of the lesser races. With stealth and cunning the Void Lords spoke to the slave races from the shadows of their cages and pens. Sometimes they appeared as themselves, and sometimes they spoke through their lieutenants. And as the Elves and Dwarves grew weaker, the hate felt agianst them by their bound servents grew stonger.
Though the gods of Light had left behind the other races to fend for themselves the Halflings did nto suffer, nor did the Gnomes. They lobbied the Elves and Dwarves for the release of their slaves, as they themselves refused to take anyone else into bondage. So as such the gods of light did look in on them from time to time. The Halflings though had a great secret that they kept to themselves and shared with no one. For many long years they had a secret protector, who had ascended to godhood. Omilia Branywine had been famous for her abilities in both protecting her homeland, and her skills at bakery, long before the gods of Light had abandoned the Dwarves and Elves. When she died the Halflings of the world lamented for her loss and began sharing tells among themselves of her great deeds. Some began to craft small idols of her as reminders of what she had done in her life, and after many years they began to worship those Idols. And so it was that Omilia Brandywine ascended to godhood, who then began to guide and protect her people in secret.
The Gnomes, like the Halflings, had a guardian that arose soon after the gods of Light had created the island of Zandora’simali. Hubbel Wheelsmith was a great thinker of his day, and had created many things of wonder. It was this trait that lead him to the experiment that would change him forever. While trying to discover a way to create a never ending source of light he spilled an extra chemical into the mix. The explosion is one of legendary severity, and is blamed for the destruction of an entire mountian range. Though Hubbel was killed in the explosion it had an unexpected benefit, his soul was released and fused with god like powers. Needless to say not only was Hubbel suprised by this but so were his people. With his new found power he set about guiding his race to newer and greater heights of magic and technology. Though the Halflings and Gnomes did not suffer from the curse of the Dwarves and Ellves, and though they had their own gods, they shared an uncertian future.
Amon watched in terror for he knew that the gods of Light would not come to the aid of their forgotten children, and he alone knew of their impending doom. So it was that he set his first plan for their salvation in action. Deep in the earth he had seen Hestis place the Heart of Questaris for safe keeping, and around it Hestis had placed celestial guardians. Amon approached these guardians with a tale of need that the gods of Light had for the heart, but the guardians rebuked him. They told him that only the gods of Light were permited to take the Heart from its resting place. Amon flew into a rage and slew the guardians, for he would not be denied the one thing that would save those that he had sworn to protect. Fearing that the gods of Light would know that the Heart was moved he chipped away at it and pulled a single fragment of it. He hoped that this would be enough to help save the Elves from the doom that they would soon have to face.
Deep into the woods of the Elven kingdom of Tristaine he sought out his choosen, the Elven priestess Elothlinta Linia’Talsona. When he found her he appeared as the god Grenin whom she did still worship as her god. To her he spoke of his sorrow at the suffering of the elves and that she should take this gem and break the curse that had been laid upon her people. He told her that if she invoked the name of Questaris and chanted a sacred spell, that he recited to her, that she could save her race from it’s certian distruction. Elothlinta rejoiced that her god had choosen her as the vessel of her peoples salvation and set to work on doing as he instructed. But Amon had tricked her, for the incantation could not free her people. As she chanted the powers of the world converged on her, and with a strike like one hundred bolts of lightning she was transformed. Elothlinta had ascended above the mortal world to become one with the heavens themselves.
It was with this new found power that Elothlinta saw the state of the world much more clearly. She could see into the hearts of the bound servents of the Dwarves and Elves, and knew that she must act quickly. She sought out the greatest of the Dwarven Kings, Glanir Thundercleaver, for he was the last of the Dwarven kings that still believed that Elves and Dwarves should retain their old alliances. To him she gave the choice of raising himself to godhood, and told him of what she had seen, and what she knew. She gave him what remained of the piece of the Heart of Questaris and the incantation. Glanir thought for many days on what Elothlinta told him and debated his right to do what she asked. But his answer was soon made for him as a revolt of slaves broke out in his own kingdom. For many weeks his people fought agianst their slaves, whom outnumbered their Dwarven masters greatly. When the revolt was suppressed, Glanir saw that only through Elothlinta’s offer could he hope to save his people from the coming disaster.
But all this was for not, soon after Glanir ascended to godhood the Void Lords put their plan into action. In a single day all the enslaved races rose up and began to fight agianst their masters. Deep in the mountian keeps of the Dwarves, and far within the forest kingdoms of the Elves, the clash of shields and swords could be heard. Though out numbered the the greater races managed to force their foes from their lands. But even as they hunted down their former slaves they knew that this was a war they could not win easily. Having planned for this agents of the Void Lords lead the outcasts to secret places where they could arm and organise themselves for war.
Amon went to the gods of Light and brought them news of the conflict that had begun in the old lands. But the gods of Light turned their backs and made it clear that they would not save those that had abandoned the light. Amon begged them agian to reconcider and again they said no, that their punsihment of the Dwarves and Elves would continue until they made reperations to those they had wronged. Angered Amon told them he would not leave the Elves and Dwarves to such a fate, and declared that he would save them himself. This vexxed the gods of Light. Paladina took hold of Amon and cast him into the heavens where her sisters, the moons, bound him between them so that he could not disobey the gods will.
War filled all the lands of the world, and no where could peace be found. It was in this time that the Skykin, Glanir, Elothlinta, Hubbel, and Omilia revieled themselves. Together they began to reforge the relationships between the greater races. The Elves and Dwarves still did not trust one another but both recognized the need to work with eachother. As the wars raged on across the world it became clear that the Elves and Dwarves were both dying races. Their losses only brought more light to the fact that they no longer bore children like they had in days past. Once they might have had families with three or more children, now a family might only bare one child ever.
For over two thousand years the wars raged across the world, soon it became clear that neither the Dwarves or Elves could win this conflict. Try as they might the Skykin, or Risen Fathers and Mothers, tried to free their peoples from the curse of the Children of Questaris. But for all their efforts they could not change what had been done. And from his prison above the world Amon seethed with anger and greif at the loss of his self given charges. (Back to top)
The Book of Men
While war raged across the rest of the world the race of men grew and prospered. They had been gifted with a land of plenty and safty, ever under the watchful eye of the gods of Light. The race of men grew in size quickly, and as they grew the began to claim more and more of the paradise that the gods of Light had created for them. While all seemed well the race of men began to spread farther and farther apart. They began forming families, and as they did this they began to conflict with eachother. Soon men founded cities where extended families, or clans, could live together. Soon after they began to form kingdoms of their own.
While the other races of the world fought for their right to live, the race of men fought for who would be in control of Zandora. Conflict boiled over in their once peaceful land and the gods of Lights began to worry if their chosen people would destroy themselves. For years they watched and argued weither or not to interviene. It was then that they took the greatest gamble with their ledgeling children. they began bringing some of the evil of the outside world into the paradise they had created. They hoped that this would inspire humanity to raise itself from it’s petty concerns, and achieve great things in the name of the light.
Changed it did bring to the race of men. Some began to falter and follow their dark impulses. But many stayed true to their heritage and followed the teaching of their forefathers. The wars amung men grew more heated, but more focused. Great heros and idols arose, while infamous villians appeared to challange them. For a thousand years the race of men battled for control with eachother, and what were once isolationist clans began to form alliances with eachother. For nearly 4 hundred years this was the way of things in Zandora, when finially the last of the clans were united through marriage, and one kingdom arose to power.
An age of learning and arts spread across the land, and peace became a way of life. Though there were those that persisted in evil ways, they were not common. And though peace was the way of things petty lords still made war on their neighbors, and coveted what was not theirs. Men mantained vast armies for the defence of what was theirs and to defend what belong to their friends and neighbors. Soon men began wonder what lay across the seas from their homes and lands.
While men had developed greatly in the arts of war and science, they also began to unearth the ways of magic. It is said that in this time many of the most powerful of the practitioners of magic were counted among the race of men. As mankind strove to leave their lands through science they searched for a way to leave though magic as well. The gods of light realised that their favored children would soon join the rest of the world, and worried if they were ready to do such a thing.
No more then six hundred years passed, after evil was introduced past, before mankind was ready to leave the only land that they had known. And so it was that the first sea worthy fleet of men set forth to explore the world. (Back to top)
The Book of Alliance
One month after setting sail from their home the fleet of men saw the shores of Tristiane, kingdom of the Elves. At first when the Elves saw foreign sails on the waves around their kingdom the believed that their enimies had learned mastery of the waves and were frightened. But it soon became clear through the scrying of their magicians that this was not the case. They were shocked to see beings that were not unlike themselves in form and bearing, but did not know who they were or where they were from.
Soon the fleet of men arrived in the port city of Tolin’tilith’manir, the largest of the elven port cities. It is well documented, and known to historians, that it was Arch-Duke Derfil, heir to the Throne of Light and nephew to the Emperess of Zandora, who first landed on the shores of Tristaine. It is also known that it was he that began the diplomatic efforts of mankind with the Elven nations. And it was through this relationship with the Elves that Men came to meet Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings. It was also how men came to understand the plight of the other races and how the wars were ravaging the world. When Derfil returned to Zandora he brought emissaries of the other races back with him so that the Emperess could hear their stories, and listen to their pleads for help.
After weeks of discussion it was decided that men would aid their new allies and help bring peace back to their lands. The emissaries returned home filled with a new hope, and knew that soon they would have the help that they so desperately needed. At first the help came in small numbers. In the first year only ten thousand men arrived to help relieve the woes of the greater races, but a new fleet was being constructed. A year later the new fleet was finished. Two months after it’s completion two hundred thousand men landed on the shores of Tristiane, while another half million men sailed north towards the embattled lands of the Dwarves. It was to the north that the Arch-Duke Dirfel himself sailed.
With the help of mankind the tide of the war turned swiftly. What once looked like an unwinable war had now been, after only 3 years, all but won by the greater races. Celebration broke out around the world, but it was not to end with joy. On his way back to southern ports, Arch-Duke Derfil, found a small enclave of Dwarves in desprite need of rescue. The Dwarves, numbering only in the hundreds, had been surrounded by nearly ten thousand Orcs, Hobgoblins, and the like. Derfils army was battered and bruised, having only recently fought a major battle only days before, but could not leave the Dwarves to face this threat alone. Derfils army engaged the enemy head long, while the Dwarves fell back towards their mountian stronghold.
Derfils men fought with all they had, breaking the ranks of the Orc army. But they could not win, as they smashed rank after rank it became clear their losses were to great to stand to the end. Seeing this from high up the Dwarves were emboldened by the sacrifice the human army was making for them. At speed the charged down the slopes and crashed into the Orc army, in a desperate bid to aid those that had come to rescue them. The battle raged with no quarter given from either side, but it soon became clear the the Orcs did not have the will to fight. They broke and ran in all directions, and as they did so they were run down and slaughtered.
The battle won, Human and Dwarf alike joyfully cheered for the victory that did not seem possible. Then cries sprang up that all was hollow, for Derfil had died in the melee. Struck down by arrows as he lead a charge into the battle. All the allies lamented the loss of Derfil, for he was a man of great honor and nobility. With sadness the Dwarves, known as the Ironbeards, followed the Human survivors back to their home in Zandora. Both legend and historians claim that the king of the Ironbeards Dwarves met with the widow of Derfil, and presented with gifts of great value. Among this great gifts was an enormous ruby, the Heart of Questaris. The gods of Light had not taken the Heart from the Dwarves for fear of others becoming too curious about it. And that fear stayed their hand from taking this gift from Derfil’s widow. WIth their gifts it is also believed that the Ironbeards swore to guard and serve the family of Derfil to the end of time in rememberance of the Arch-Dukes sacrifice.
With that the wars came to an end, and peace came agian…...... (Back to top)
The Book of Exodus
A thousand years of peace came to all the known lands. The relationship between the allied races grew stronger, though was strained between the Elves and Dwarves. And soon it seemed that they would drift apart agian. Men began to explore the world of the greater races, as well as help them rebuild what they had lost. Though occasionaly a band of goblinoids would trouble travelers or small homesteads, the world remained at peace.
Amon having been freed from his bonds when the wars had come to a close, was filled with rage. In his mind he looked at the help the Human race had given to the Elves had been an insult to a nobel people. His heart had grown cold during the wars, and his hatred for both the gods of light and humanity was all consuming. Though he had appologised to the children of Questaris for his rash words and actions, he ploted their downfall and the downfall of their bastard creations.
He alone knew that the Heart of Questaris did not lay in the sanctuary that Hestis had created for it. The gods of Light, believing it to be safe had not bothered to look in on it, or it’s guards. Long ago the Ironbeard clan had found it as they had mined further into the mountians they dwelled in. WIth it he reasoned that he could undo all that had been done by Questaris’ children. But for now it was better to leave it in their care. During his imprisionment he had ploted how to go about his revenge. He had also looked for allies in his scheme, as well as someone he could blame for it. He had found both.
In the Elven kindgom of Al’Anba’Dina Amon had found that the prince of the realm, Aniamar, hated humans. In his mind he did not believe that they deserved the favor of the gods of Light and wished for a chance to bring thier favor back to his people as it had been in days of old. Amon new that he could use this to his advantage. Amon slew the king of Alan’badina so that Aniamar could ascend to the throne. He then approached Aniamar with his plan, and a deal was struck between them. Aniamar was the greatest wizard of the age, and with his help Amon knew that Aniamar could corrupt the heart to is own purposes. Aniamar spent the next six hundred years in study and experimentation as he and Amon waited for the best time to unleash their plan. That time came the day Arch-Duke Haziman was born.
Haziman was a decendant of Derfil, and grew up in the shadow of his forefather’s legacy. Oracles throughout the human lands proclaimed on the day of his birth that he would one day change the world of men. It was for this reason that the Emperor of the Throne of Light took him into his household and brought the greatest minds of the land to teach him. Haziman was taught the arts of science, war, and magic. His skill in these areas was obvious to all that witnessed his growth in them. Before he had reached the age of sixteen his fame had spread through out the Human lands, and many foreign lands as well.
On his eighteenth birthday, Haziman was crowned Arch-Duke by the Emperor, and was released from his studies. For the next fourty years Haziman ruled his land justly and fairly. But he never stoped his studies in the ways of magic or war. But though his fame was as great as his forefather Derfil, he could not surpass it. He was driven to find a way to make his mark on the world as Derfil had before him, and not stand in the shadow of a legend long past.
The time had come for Amon to begin his plan. He had watched the growth of Haziman carefully and with interest. As the master of the celestial hosts, he had been told of the plan the gods of Light had for Haziman. Never did it occur to them that Amon was planing to betray them. It was the greatest of fortunes that Haziman had inherited the Heart of Questaris, and the greatest of mistakes the gods of Light had made. Amons plan could progress without anyone knowing of it till all was too late.
Amon had also discovered that the Void Lords had not been idle during this time of peace. They had used it to rebuild their armies and would soon be ready to claim revenge on those responsible for their lose. Aniamar had used this time to cement many alliances with in the elven kingdoms. He had also had slowly managed to pervert his peoples view of humanity. All was aligned in Amon’s favor, so he then appeared to Haziman and offered him a way to make his mark on the world. He convinced Haziman that the gods of Light had chosen him to inherit the ancient ruby that was gifted to his family by the Ironbeard Dwarves. Amon then explained that Haziman was to take the ruby and forge a great item of power.
Haziman set to work on creating a magic item that would change the world. But everytime he tried to empower the gem the magic did not hold. He was forced to call on Amon to ask for help. He explained to Amon what was happening when he tried to create the item, and Amon told him to seek out the Elven prince Aniamar for guidance. And so it was that Haziman journeyed far to the north to ask Aniamar for help.
Aniamar and Amon had long since planed how to trick Haziman into perverting the Heart of Questaris so that they could change the world as they saw fit. At first every idea that Aniamar suggested to Haziman failed to produce the effect that was desired, but this was according to plan. Finially Amon decided that the time was right and had Aniamar reveal the secret to properly enchant the Heart of Questaris. By taking blood from Amon, Aniamar, and himself, Haziman was able to complete his work. Now with the perverted Heart of Questaris Amon could change the world as he saw fit.
But things did not go as he planned. Haziman had enchanted the Heart with the ability to send its wielder where ever he wished to be. Before Amon could claim the Heart from him Haziman used it to go home. Amon flew into a frenzy and traveled after Haziman. Aniamar, fearing that the gods would discover what he and Amon had done, began to send his people away.
Amon surprised Haziman in his home, and demanded the Heart from him. But Haziman fearing the power of his own creation had hidden it. Amon was furious and took Haziman’s wife captive. He demanded agian that Haziman bring him the Heart if he wished to see his wife spared. So Haziman submitted and brought Amon the Heart of Questaris, but Amon did not live up to his bargain. As soon as he had the Heart he murdered Hazimans wife and set about destroying Zandora. The earth began to shake, and the mountians errupted. Whole plains were swallowed by the sea.
Haziman, seeing what his vainity had brought and the evil in of Amon, armed himself for battle. He found Amon high in the mountians of Zandora and attacked. The battle raged across the sky as Haziman displayed the power that had been given him upon his birth by the gods of Light. Not since the War between Qustaris and the Void had such devestation been seen in the world. Haziman struck the hand in which Amon held the Heart and severed it, but he was himself struck with a mortal blow. Amon reached out to grab the Heart but was summoned at the last second to the Palace of the gods of Light.
Amon stood before the gods of Light and their anger was great. Hestis grabbed Amon and cast him to the earth. The body of Amon struck the land of Alan’Badina, and the land burned to ash. They sought to punish all those that had stood agianst their favored children, and they knew that Aniamar and his people had aided Amon. Upon Aniamar they placed the curse of unlife upon him. His people, and his allies, were cursed with darkened skin and the sun became their enemy. Thus the race of Drow, or Dark Elves, was born. Amon struck the kingdom of Aniamar and it was turned into a wasteland. Thus was the first end of Amon the Black.
Tilith’muli’ina, Mother of the human race had joined the celestial host after her death. With Amon gone the gods of Light appointed her to Amon’s place, and charged her with protecting the race of men. The people of Zandora began to flee by ship and magic, as they watched their homeland die….... (Back to top)
The Book of Reconstruction
At first the race of men found refuge among their allies, but it soon became clear that men who had once ruled a vast empire could not except the rule of foreign lords. The death of the Emperial family, save Hazimans son, left a void that was felt by all the nobels of Zandora. And though he lived and was the only living member of the Emperial blood few would swear fealty to him. Soon many of the human lords began to take their families and armies to create new kingdoms. The first of these was the Kingdom of Galadan. Many other Human kingdoms began to form soon after. The kingdom of Middenfel was the next, then came the kingdom of Corsaris, followed by the Island kingdom of Thalian.
In the lands north of the Island of Thalian many factured kingdoms existed. Cheif among these was the kingdom of Rustiltanis, the furthest north of these. Rustiltanis was ruled by a cabal of powerful and benevolent mages, the people af the land prospered under the careful eye of the cabal. for 2 hundred years this kingdom was a peaceful neighbor until the coming of Vorthrax. Vorthrax, a master of the art of Necromancy, soon seized power from the cabal and began a reign of terror upon his own people. But the borders of Rustiltanis could not hold his lust for power and he soon began invading his neighbors. He quickly raised and army of the dead to enforce his will. Many kingdoms fell within the first years of his war. During this time Vorthrax formed a new cabal to govern his vast holdings. He transformed himself into an undead being, so that he could rule forever over his kingdom.
In the southern kingdoms of the northlands many were filled with dread that Vorthrax would soon invade their homelands. For one hundred years they watched as the northern kingdoms were swollowed by the darkness of Vorthrax and waited their turn. Then one day it happened Vorthrax sent his armies southward. Though the southern kingdoms had waited in fear they had not been idle. They had built strong armies to defend themselves. At first it seemed that they might be able to fight off the undead armies of the north. But as the near constant battles continued it became clear that they could not recover the losses that were incurred on their armies. One by one the armies of the southern kingdoms were crushed under the weight of Vorthrax’s forces. for 50 years they fought, until only three kingdoms stood. All hope seemed lost and the rulers of the last kingdoms began to discuss surrendering to Vorthrax.
In a small village near the southern coast, on the inland sea of Nastram, things began to change. A young voice began to bring hope to the people. And with it a will to fight agianst Vorthax was brewing in them. The news reached the rulers of the small kingdom of Habstorim, and they feared open revolt was coming. Soldiers were sent to bring the rebel leader to justice, but they did not return. They sent a brigade of men, and they too vanished. All the while rumors spoke that a savior had come to lead the people agianst Vorthrax, and that they were on the way to the capital. They were shocked when the hero arrived at the capital with all the men they had sent out.
They were equally suprised when the leader of this rebellion was a woman. Anstoria Was a follower of the goddess Paladina. The goddess had guided Anstoria to take up this cause in her name, and lead the people agianst the evil of Vorthrax. The lords of the realm were afraid of her and sealed the city. But rather then lay seige to the city Anstoria made camp outside and pleaded with them to let her enter. For weeks this went on but the King and his court would not let her enter. Hearing of their kings plight the armies of the kingdom began to form and travel to lift the seige. But when the arrived they were unopposed on the fields save for Anstoria herself. She would approach these forces to speak with them. Soon afterwards they would join her army.
Finially it became clear to the king that he could not hope to win the seige and open the cities gates. Anstoria herself rode alone in to speak with the king and his court. After a few days she returned with the king to the gathered army. She had shown him that she did not wish for his crown or lands. She only sought to save the people from their fate at the hands of Vorthrax. Anstoria had convinced the king that he should form an alliance with the neighboring kingdoms that still stood agianst the undead armies of the north.
With his army and Anstoria at his side the king rode north, and he had messages sent to the only two kingdoms that still stood. When they arrived at the northern most borders they were met by the kings of Vesterholt and Bathorim. For days they discussed what they should do, and among the kings there was much arguing. But when Anstoria spoke they would sit in silence and listen to her. It soon became clear to them that she was right, and that the favor of Paladina lay upon her. It was decided by them that Anstoria should lead their armies.
So it was that Anstoria lead the armies of these three kingdoms north. Where ever they went they liberated the oppressed and their army swelled. Many times Vorthrax sent assassins to kill Anstoria and failed. For 3 years they pressed in on the his holdings. Finially Anstoria lead her army to the fortress of Vorthax and seiged it. After many weeks they breached the walls. Anstoria and Vorthrax finially met in the bowls of a large cave beneath the fortress where they battled. Anstoria was the stronger, but Vorthrax could not be slain. She split up the pieces of his body and had them carried to the far corners of the world, and sealed behind powerfuls wards and runes.
Many of the kingdoms were left with no leadership, and were quick to name Anstoria queen. The kings that had survived the war began to swear oaths of fealty to her. Anstoria had not wished for this nor did she want it, but Paladina herself appeared to her. The goddess spoke of the future and the need for Anstoria to govern the lands of the north. With the goddess’ urging Anstoria did as she was asked.
Anstoria lived for many years, and had many children. Her oldest daughter was trained in the fashion of the paladins as was the wish of Paladina. Upon the death of Anstoria the lands she had saved mourned. The lords of the lands came together and agreed to disolved all borders between them. And with that they named the new kingdom Anstoria in honor of their savior and proclaimed her daughter it’s first queen. Since that day all the rulers of the land have been paladin queens.
But all of the followers of Vorthrax were not killed, and the world is not safe from his vengence…...... (Back to top)
The Book of Heros
The once fledgling kingdoms of man grew and prospered. And with them new gods began to come to the world and fill the places that men felt a need to be guided in. They were Ornim, the god of shadows and theives. Vestila, the goddess of war. Rangol, god of the law. Vanda, goddess of passion and amor. Cindillian, goddess of the hearth and home.
Many lands that were once home to Elves and Dwarves were now abandoned, and new human kingdoms began to form in these places. The Nordin Hold was formed in the far northern lands, while the land east of the Keldon Jungle became the kingdom of Athenmir. While the kingdom of Tristaine, once an Elven kingdom, was largely settled by humans.
Many wars were fought between these nations. The greatest conflicts occured between Galadan, governed by a powerful mages guild, and Anstoria, Which held all the main temples of the gods of Light. Conflicts were not limited to kingdoms, many were fought agianst the dark minions of the Void Lords. During this time many heros emerged to combat these evils and fight for their kingdoms. In this one thousand year period the kingdom of Thalinan was conquered by Galadan and its royal family killed.
A thousand years had past when the greatest hero of this age was born. His name was Magnus, who history now remembers as Magnus the Great, and it was for his deeds that this age was named.
Magnus and his band of friends were known for many great feats, and for the lives that they saved the world around. Many a tyrannt, or servent of the Void Lords, fell to their blades and spells. Among them was the heir to the Golden Lilied Throne of Anstoria, the princess Issabella. Many adventures did they undertake and many lives did they save. But as with all things this would not last forever. The companions went their seperate ways when Issabella’s mother the Queeen of Anstoria became ill. She was forced to return home. Many believe that she nearly gave up her throne to stay with her company, but none can prove this.
With the breaking of the company new heros began to emerge, and thus the Age of Heros began. For the last seven hundred years the once proud empires of man have splintered and changed, ............ And now the world awaits new heros.